ISL: ATK add to merger euphoria with win over FC Goa

January 19 2020

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ATK emerged 2-0 victors against FC Goa in a  closely-fought top-of-the-table clash in the Indian Super League at the  Salt Lake Stadium here on Saturday.

Two days after announcing  their merger with I-League heavyweights Mohun Bagan in a historic move  for Indian football, ATK added to the fervour after a goalless first  half as Pritam Kotal (47') headed the two-time champions into the lead  before a late goal from Jayesh Rane (88') sealed the deal for the home  side.

The victory took ATK level on points (24) at the top of the  table with FC Goa. It also served as a measure of revenge for ATK who  had been beaten 1-2 when they travelled to Goa for the reverse fixture.

There  were early threats at both ends with Javier Hernandez sending a strike  wide after holding off his marker using his strength. At the other end,  Manvir Singh cut in from the right flank and sent his effort inches wide  of the frame.

Goa asked questions after dealing with the early  pressure from ATK. Ferran Corominas went down inside the box after his  excellent run was halted by Sumit Rathi with a sliding challenge but the  referee shrugged away appeals for a penalty.

Goa custodian  Mohamad Nawaz played his part in keeping the scoreline intact with a  good save to stop Hernandez' long-range free-kick midway through the  first half. Jobby Justin's close-range header from the resulting corner  was also safely collected by the relieved custodian.

ATK's work  rate helped keep the Goan midfield and attack in check as the visitors  struggled to create clear-cut chances. The hosts weren't much better in  the final third but had their fair share of chances to score but the  game went into the break without goals.

ATK struck a huge blow  right after the restart and pumped up the home crowd. Roy Krishna  latched onto a free-kick on the right-hand side inside the box and  chipped the ball into the centre from the byline. An unmarked Pritam  Kotal got in between the Goa centre-backs and nodded the ball into the  net.

Buoyed by the goal, ATK pushed forward and nearly doubled  their minutes later. Jobby ran down the left flank, held off his marker  well and crossed into the box for Hernandez whose shot flew over the  bar.

Goa took control of the game towards the end and Hugo  Boumous ran the show from the midfield as the visitors chased an  equaliser. The French midfielder made an excellent run down the left  flank and found Seiminlen Doungel free inside the box in the 70th minute  but the Indian forward's shot was parried away by an alert Arindam  Bhattacharya.

ATK had another golden chance to double their lead  before the end of the game. A low cross from the right by Roy Krishna in  the 82nd minute set Jayesh Rane up with an empty goal in front of him  but the forward blasted the ball over the bar from close-range

Rane  made amends for his big miss by scoring ATK's second goal in the dying  embers of the game. Krishna's chested a long pass, beat his marker on  his way towards the byline and crossed into the centre for Rane who  executed a sliding finish into the net to put the result beyond doubt.

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  • Source
  • IANS